One Nap A Day Schedule | 1 Year Old Routine
(Update: Our daughter actually still follows this one nap schedule at 2 years and 2 months! The only difference is that all of her milk cups have now been reduced to 4 ounces each instead of the amounts listed below.)
If you’re a mom who kept your baby on a schedule during their first year, or one who is only looking to implement a schedule in your child’s toddler years, you may be wondering – what should a 1 nap toddler schedule look like? I am not good at scheduling out our toddler’s activities to the point of having hour by hour (or halves) of specific play types or outings, but I found early on with our daughter that keeping a daily schedule for eating and sleeping made both of us happier people! If your little one is still under a year old you can read the details of our daughter’s baby schedules below:
(Note: our daughter pretty much stayed on the 6-12 month schedule until 14 months of age – we did, however, transition to cows milk at one year old.)
At about 14 and a half months our daughter dropped her morning nap which changed up her routine and pushed her to a much more active (and awake) one nap toddler schedule! You can read the specifics of how we knew she was ready for and made that nap transition here.
After making the transition to a one nap a day schedule, below is the general routine that we kept from 14-18 months of age.
1 Nap A Day Schedule For Toddler
7:30-8am – morning wake (since she only napped once a day variations to her morning wake time had less effect on her ability to nap during the day or go down well at bedtime, so we started to let her sleep in later if she hadn’t stirred by her usual 7:30)
8am(ish) – breakfast (for this meal Ellie eats a small bowl of dried Cheerios and we give her a cup of water. After she has eaten some of the Cheerios we give her 4 oz. of cows milk)
8:30-11am – play time! Someday I hope to have more structure to this time, but since I am pregnant again and dealing with nausea and very low energy, for now this is very unstructured play time for Ellie. (Unfortunately at this age her unstructured play time is basically trash the house time as she explores every object she can find!)
11am – lunch time (Ellie is very finicky with her meals at this age but if she eats well she will usually eat a yogurt pouch, some banana, grapes, or blueberries, pieces of bologna, and some chunked cheese for this meal. I give her a cup of water with her lunch.)
12-2:30/3pm – nap time! (I change her diaper and offer 6 oz. of cows milk just before Ellie goes up for her nap. Some days she will only sleep until 2pm, other days until as late as 3:30pm – it really seems to depend on whether she napped well the previous day and/or got to bed on time the previous night.)
2:30pm – wake and snack (I usually give Ellie a small snack when she wakes from her nap – like a little box of raisins, some more Cheerios, or some animal crackers. I let her have access to her water cup most of the day so she often grabs that with her snack too.)
2:30-5:30pm – more play time! (Again, I really hope to structure this more at some point but in my current state it is a time when Ellie brings me books to read, plays with her toy kitchen, finds an object to occupy herself with, or trashes the house!)
5:30-6pm – dinner (Ellie eats a portion of whatever we are having for dinner with her water. Sometimes this meal is as late as 6-6:30pm depending on when daddy gets home from work!)
6-7pm – more play time (this play time is usually on the daddy jungle gym! When needed this is also when we do bath time.)
7pm – bedtime! (We change Ellie’s diaper, put on her pajamas, brush her teeth, and offer her 8 oz. of cows milk before she goes to her crib)
Unless she’s sick Ellie usually sleeps from 7-7:30pm straight through to 7:30-8am on her one nap schedule. (If you’re having trouble getting your baby to sleep through the night you can read my tips for that here, though some of the tips are geared toward younger babies.) Ellie did hit a terrible toddler phase where she was waking multiple times overnight just wanting to play and drink milk. This went on until we realized that we needed to deny her the milk since we were filling her with too many quickly digested calories that were leading her to not stay as full and therefore wake from hunger.
We cut her milk back to only 18 oz. per day and offered her a few Cheerios and water overnight if she woke hungry. Within a day or two she was eating more solid food throughout the day and stopped waking for the milk at night. I believe some of the night waking was a testing of her will, but some of it seemed to also be hunger from drinking too many milk calories that went through her system faster than solids. After a few days of not giving in to her will and cutting back the milk, her night wakings stopped.
This is the 1 nap a day schedule that we kept from 14-18 months for our daughter Ellie. It kept our home running relatively smooth through the first two trimesters of my second pregnancy and kept our young toddler fed and well-rested. If you have a young toddler who still takes longer or more naps a day, enjoy it and don’t rush the transition! However, we knew our daughter was ready based on several signs at 14 and half months. Again, you can read the details of our 2 to 1 nap transition here.
If you’re encountering sleep disturbances or trouble with bedtime from your toddler you can also find some tips from Parent’s Magazine here for dealing with these unique challenges.
Looking for sample schedules for a younger baby? Or having trouble getting your little one to sleep through the night? Sign up for my free ebook, Sample Schedules & Sleep Tips!
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